Upcoming Flix Spotlight: Pillars of the Earth

Thanks to Prairiegirl for telling me about this TV miniseries that’s currently in production. Based on an International best-seller of the same name by Ken Follett, it’s a story about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. The project’s produced by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott through their production company Scott Free. According to Geeksofdoom site, Tandem Communications, which previously picked up the Dune miniseries for the SCI FI Channel, spent over eight years trying to acquire the rights to Follett’s novel, first published in 1989.

Here’s the short synopsis from the miniseries official site:

The Pillars of the Earth is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty. This sensuous, spirited and passionate story is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge.

Against this backdrop, human dramas and love stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age.

That sounds like an intriguing subject for a compelling drama, and I could see how a miniseries, instead of a 2-hour movie is a better medium to capture the complex story instead of showing us the cliff notes version of it.

Currently shooting in Hungary and Austria, the series is directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes, Saving Grace, Into the West) and also boasts an impressive cast: Ian McShane, Donald Shuterland, Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfayden and Hayley Attwell. Glad to see Rufus in the mix, who’s no stranger to period dramas.  His talent and experience — not to mention his gorgeous mug — should bring a large dose of awesomeness to the project. Macfayden is currently working in Ridley’s Robin Hood as the Sheriff of Nottingham. I can’t help but wish that his RH’s co-star Mark Strong were in this, too =) You can read the full cast on Mr. Follett’s own site, as well as production notes from the British author’s blog.

The set photos/clips look impressive, take a peek of them on the project site.  And with a cast like this, I sure hope this project will make its way to US shores when it’s released next year.

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